Comcast Leads in Hotspot Speed
A recent study proves that Comcast hotspots are dramatically faster than other providers
San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore were the cities used in the study. Allion based its findings on 2,800 data samples taken with six different devices: iPad 4, iPhone 5, Macbook laptops, Acer laptops, Google Nexus 10 tablet and Galaxy SII smartphone. There was not much difference in upstream speeds although Allion noted, "Comcast still exhibited up to 3x faster throughput than the others." However, downstream differences were much more pronounced.
Allion said that Boingo and AT&T hotspots ranged from 1 Mbps to 4 Mbps on average and rarely exceeded 5 Mbps. Comparatively, Comcast hotspots “frequently exhibited” downlink speeds of 10Mbps and as high as 20 Mbps on occasion. These findings suggest that Boingo and AT&T hotspots are “rate limited to a low throughput.” Allion proposed, “Comcast hotspot users will most likely experience a smoother Internet streaming browsing experience.”
A spokesperson at Allion clarified, “In some locations, the bandwidth is rate-limited mostly to ensure that each user gets an acceptable amount of bandwidth, unlike some locations that don’t manage their networks where it’s first-come, first served.” Boingo has roaming deals with more than 140 network operators. Globally, only a “few hundred” of the 700,000 Boingo hotspots are actually Boingo operated.
In Baltimore, Comcast averaged 11.10 Mbps down by 3.39 up, while Boingo came in at 1.36 Mbps/2.22 Mbps and AT&T averaged 1.22 Mbps/1.54 Mbps. Similarly, in Boston, Comcast averaged 15.73 Mbps down by 3.85 Mbps up versus Boingo at 4.90 Mbps/2.62 Mbps and AT&T at 1.20 Mbps/1.14 Mbps.
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